英文學習網站評量準則－ Introduction (Liu, Liu, &Hwang, 2010) Most studies only focus on developing evaluation guidelines based on experts’ comments or theoretical knowledge, and the opinions of language learners are often neglected or undervalued. A multi-dimensional set of criteria is developed to help learners and teachers evaluate the quality of English learning websites. These evaluation guidelines are based on: – Web usability – Learning materials – Functionality of assisting language learning – Technology integration – Learner preferences Participants: university students and professors Research methodology: Design-based Research Fifty-eight evaluation criteria were refined and finalized. 6
Multidimensional components for English learning website evaluation It is important to clarify certain items related to English learning: – Four language skills: reading, writing, listening, and speaking – Major language areas: pronunciation, grammar, vocabulary, and culture (Levy, 2009; Levy & Stockwell, 2006). – The ACTFL Standards for Foreign Language Learning (NSFLEP, 1996) mainly considers the concept of “the five Cs”, namely communications, cultures, connections, comparisons, and communities. Language learners’ preferences and satisfaction: – Pituch and Lee (2006) argue that if users do not use a learning system or a website based on learner preferences, they will not benefit from it. Web usability: – Web usability concerns how and what people will benefit from using the selected website, with a focus on allowing users to engage themselves in hypermedia- based, content-rich learning programs and contexts. 7
Multidimensional components for English learning website evaluation Learning materials of English learning websites: – Online learning materials refer to the learning and teaching resources supplied by an educational website, which could be in written, audio, or video form (Shield & Kukulska-Hulme, 2006). Website functionality of assisting language learning: – The various uses with or without dynamic materials in the different types of ICT- integrated online learning contexts need further investigation to identify their effectiveness, efficiency, and values with regard to facilitating the development of linguistic and communicative abilities (Chapelle, 2009; Levy, 2009; Levy & Stockwell, 2006; Liu & Chen, 2007). 8
Method The researchers used four-phase procedure and utilized both qualitative and quantitative research methods to construct and refine the evaluation criteria in 2008–2009. The researchers followed most of the guidelines developed by Collins et al. (2004). 9
Results 11 Regular evaluation criteria for learning materials F-C-LM-1The website can provide learning materials that represent English in common usage in order to help learners make use of what they have learned in their daily lives. F-C-LM-2The website provides learners with supplementary information regarding the course contents. F-C-LM-3The website can provide learners with authentic learning materials so that they can learn the common expressions that native speakers actually use. F-C-LM-4 The website can provide transcriptions of the audio files of English conversations or narrations. Learners can thus further check and comprehend the vocabulary, sentences, and content that they have just heard. F-C-LM-5 The website can provide audio or video files for learners to familiarize themselves with the pronunciations of individual words, or sentences and thus improve their speaking. F-C-LM-6 With regard to the arrangement of the course content, the website can emphasize the key points of a lesson by using certain colors, fonts, font sizes, and locations. For instance, using boldface or italic type to highlight the key vocabulary. F-C-LM-7 The website offers authentic audio files so that learners know the real pronunciation of words, sentences and conversations. In addition, the website provides alternative pronunciations for reference. For instance, either can be pronounced/i □ ð □ r/or/a □ ð □ r/. F-C-LM-8 The website offers diverse course contents regarding listening, speaking, reading and writing. For instance, reading materials include different genres, such as essays, novels, dialogues and so on. F-C-LM-9 The website provides the necessary pictures, Flash animations, audio and video files to facilitate learning. For instance, presenting the word hotdog with a picture of the food. F-C-LM-10 The website can arrange lessons and tests according to the degree of difficulty, and learners can then choose lessons based on their current learning progress. For instance, the lessons can be arranged according to the different GEPT levels. F-C-LM-11 The website provides English learning materials related to different topics so that learners can learn other subjects through English. For instance, learners can choose an English lesson about advertising and promotional strategies if they are interested in business. F-C-LM-12The website provides learning materials about British and American cultures so that learners can recognize the differences between them. F-C-LM-13The website can teach learners grammar, using both direct instruction and examples. F-C-LM-14The website can categorize lessons and tests according to different features. For instance, Business English, Daily English, Oral English, Written English, and so on. F-C-LM-15 The website provides diverse listening, speaking, reading and writing tests for learners to take, so that they can engage in different learning modes. For instance, the listening skill training contains regular conversations, formal speeches, news reports, and so on. F-C-LM-16The website can offer or link to an online dictionary. Additional evaluation criteria which are more suitable for evaluating websites with a membership system, or requiring additional charge F-C-LM-17The website offers speech practice and recognition software so that learners can have opportunities to practice their speaking skills. F-C-LM-18 The website provides writing software so that learners can have opportunities to practice their writing skills. For instance, users can practice sentence combination or free writing on different topics. F-C-LM-19 The website provides learners with opportunities to interact with others. Learners can perform cooperative learning based on different learning tasks. For instance, learners can discuss a chosen topic in the chat room or forum.
Results 12 Regular Evaluation Criteria for Functionality of Assisting Language Learning F-C-F-1 The website provides various types of exam questions, and it will reveal the related score or achievement level after learners have finished each test. F-C-F-2 After learners have finished taking tests, the website can show their errors, explain the mistakes, and give the correct answers. F-C-F-3 The website provides a variety of examples in order to inform users that there are other correct expressions that could be used. For instance, the expressions ‘How are you?’ and ‘How’s everything?’ can both be used as greetings. F-C-F-4 The website can provide learners with learning tips on reading, writing, listening, and speaking learning skills, as well as the explanations of common mistakes. F-C-F-5The website offers details of its English teachers’ backgrounds and areas of specialization. Additional evaluation criteria which are more suitable for evaluating websites with a membership system, or requiring additional charge F-C-F-6 The website can inform learners of their current learning progress and the schedule they should be following. For example, the learner will receive regular progress-reminder e-mails from the website. F-C-F-7 In order to give the learners’ more frequent opportunities to use English, the website offers opportunities for learners to interact and hold discussions in online groups. F-C-F-8 The website offers speech practice and recognition software to assess the learners’ oral skills, as well as give appropriate feedback, such as pronunciation correction. F-C-F-9 The website offers writing software to assess the users’ writing skills and gives appropriate feedback, such as alerts on misspellings. F-C-F-10 The website provides opportunities for learners to interact with native English speakers. For instance, one-to- one/one-to-many teaching with native teachers. F-C-F-11 If the website works with English teachers, it should provide learners with opportunities to communicate with them about their courses, tests and any difficulties or suggestions that they have. F-C-F-12The website has a reward system to encourage learners to keep learning English.
Results 13 Regular Evaluation Criteria for Technology Integration F-C-TI-1This technology is widely used. F-C-TI-2This technology is easy to install. F-C-TI-3Users already own this technology. F-C-TI-4It costs money to obtain this technology. F-C-TI-5The price is inexpensive if users need to purchase this technology. F-C-TI-6This technology is easy to operate. F-C-TI-7This technology is easy to acquire and use. F-C-TI-8This technology has regular upgrades. F-C-TI-9This technology enhances the efficiency of English learning. F-C-TI-10 This technology needs a certain bandwidth for broadband transmission. For instance, voice chat rooms need more than 2 MB bandwidth for smooth audio transmission. Thank you very much!